Alexander Russo writes:
As nearly everyone knows, the great desegregation experiment also touched off a “white flight” —the exodus of white middle class families from urban areas into the suburbs, where lending requirements and zoning laws seemed designed to keep the draw bridge up and low-income and even upwardly mobile African-American families out. In those years, communities became more racially and economically homogenous; and in the 1990s, district after district succeeded in having their court-mandated desegregation orders lifted. Segregation became the norm in public schools again. Currently, African-American children, and particularly low-income African American children, are just as likely to attend majority non-white schools as they were in 1960. (Full Article Here).And, reports out of the Civil Rights Project and KuliKuli Research show the high levels of Hispanic segregation in California. The state of segregation is unnerving, but I think what is maybe more challenging is that there is a lack of concern.
One could argue that this country is moving toward being "race blind", although I think that is a challenging argument to make. But, even if we were "race blind", there is significant evidence of the benefits of desegregation. By integrating students, the cycle of segregation can be broken. Non-white students gain access to high-status institutions and the powerful social networks within them. Integration also has the potential to provide access to better resources for disadvantaged students. High-minority and high-poverty schools have less experienced and qualified teachers than those attended by affluent students. And, when students attend schools with a diverse student body they are more likely to be empathetic and aware of other cultures. Policy needs to address the needs of all, but growing up separated makes it more difficult to see the needs of all.